Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rice Allergy - Is Rice Allergy Becoming A More Commonly Seen Allergy?

Both my son and daughter have food allergies and my son also has FPIES (food protein-induced entercolitis syndrome). One allergy of his that we became aware of this past week is rice. It is not usually a common food for people to be allergic to, but according to this link it is on the rise:

Rice Allergy - Is Rice Allergy Becoming A More Commonly Seen Allergy?

Although I am glad to have figured out which food was the culprit, it is not an easy allergy to deal with when he already can't consume dairy, eggs, peanuts, almonds, and soy. It is a good thing he mostly drinks hemp milk! So many of the products for people with dairy, gluten, and soy allergies have rice flour as the substitute.

If you have some favorite products for people who suffer from these same food allergies, I would love to hear about it!

Friday, November 19, 2010

ZERO TO THREE: Playing with Babies

Although it might be instinct to rock and comfort a crying baby, it is often not instinct to know how to play with a baby. The link below gives some great tips on playing with babies:

ZERO TO THREE: Playing with Babies

One of my favorite things to play with babies is "Peek-a-Boo" cute to see the look on the baby's face!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Resources on Sensory Processing Disorder - Free Downloads

I am the handout queen...not really, it is just a title I have given myself. I love to provide families with handouts, website links, and other resources. When parents take the time to read up on topics that are related to their child's developmental delays, it is SO much easier for me to have a meaningful conversation with them about how to better help their child. My time with families is very limited, 1-2 times per week usually, and unfortunately this is not enough time to teach families everything they need to know.

One website that I am fond of is "sensory street". Here is a link to this site's resource page that includes many free downloads on topics related to nutrition/feeding problems and sensory processing disorder/ sensory integration dysfunction:

free sensory downloads

I especially like the download of "Do You Know Me?". Not only does it come in English and Spanish, but it is concise and easy to understand especially for visual learners. This handout can be given to family members, caregivers, teachers, and any other professional working with children with learning problems or other special needs.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Do You Have Any Idea of the Chemicals Used in Fast Food Chicken

So many of us are uninformed of what actually is in the food we eat. This is the case when we eat "quick" meals at home out of a box, but it is especially the case when we eat fast food! Here is an article that hopefully will make you think twice about going through the drive-thru of a fast food restaurant:

Do You Have Any Idea of the Chemicals Used in Fast Food Chicken

The reason we go eat fast food is because so often we are too busy to cook after a long day of work and helping the kids with school work or toting them to sports lessons or other places. One thing I do is cook foods ahead of time and put them in the freezer. Then, I thaw the meal out in the refrigerator in the morning before leaving for work. This saves preparation time when I arrive home, and all I need to do is bake it! Other things I do is use the crock-pot or cook quick recipes with fresh ingredients. One of my favorite cook books has a big section on 15, 20, and 30 minute meals...this includes the time needed to prepare and cook it. And when I am working as well as a mom to two young children, I need all of the short cuts I can take without resorting to fast food! I would love to here what other people do to make nutritious meals in a hurry. Key words are "nutritious" and "hurry"!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Indoor Gross Motor Activities

Today it is cold and rainy outside. That means my kids didn't get to play outside like they typically do before and/or after supper. Now that it's November, there will be more and more days like this where we have to be entertained indoors.

Here are a few ideas that I use to keep my kids involved in gross motor activities while staying indoors, and maybe they will work for you too:

1. "Simon Says": I usually start out as Simon while playing with just my 7 year old daughter, then my 2 year old son usually joins us and tries his best to imitate everything his big sis does. I tend to call out these commands: standing on one foot, animal imitations (bird, cow, donkey, bear, crab, snake, etc), twirling, jumping jacks, clap while jumping, tip-toe walk, heel walk, jump from side-to-side, clap hands over their heads or behind their backs, touch one hand to the opposite foot, and walk backwards.

2. Obstacle course: We have a big space in our living room and entry way that makes a great location for an obstacle course. We use our fabric tunnel, mini-trampoline, fabric tent, blankets draped over the back of chairs, large pillows, couch cushions, and a hula-hoop to either jump in-an-out of or to climb through. I have the kids go through the obstacle course consecutively together or to do it individually while "racing the clock". Motions involved include climbing over, under, and through, jumping forward and backward, crawling forward or backward, and rolling (log or forward).

3. Kids yoga or other exercise videos: my children's favorite video is from Yoga Kids (R); the poses on the video are fun and in alphabetical order, A-Z. "A" is a pose that looks similar to an alligator and "R" is a pose that looks similar to a rocking horse. The suggested ages are 3-5 years, but I think many 2 year olds can at least try it. My son probably is motivated to try the poses because his sister and I are doing them as well.

4. Chores: I completely believe in child labor and teaching kids to be responsible for chores! They are good for building strength and coordination! My kids help carry bags from the car as well as clean their rooms or any other area where they have played and made a mess. Both of my kids like to help fold towels, not that they are excellent at it, but at least they are active and trying! My older child is also expected to make her bed and help "set the table" before dinner.

5. Cooking: stirring batter and rolling out dough is lots of upper body gross-motor fun! Pounding over the food chopper can be quite a blast also!

6. Dress-up: My kids like to play dress up and then act out the character. We have costumes for Peter Pan, Captain Hook, various princesses, cowboy, police man, baseball, soccer, as well as random hats, scarves, and shoes to play with.

7. Playing games in various positions: I like to play card games with my daughter while we are facing each other and propped on our forearms lying on our bellies. I like to draw and color with my son while we are standing at his easel. It is also fun to draw while on paper taped to the bottom of a table or chair while lying under it, but I am not sure I trust him with this yet, maybe as he gets closer to 3 years of age! Sometimes my daughter and I sing songs while we are hanging off of the couch with our heads on the floor...can only do this one for a short amount of time!

8. Sing songs with body actions: "Wheels on the Bus", "Ants Go Marching", "Row, Row, Row, Your Boat", "Getty Up Horsie", and "Ring-Around-the-Rosie". These are fun as long as you have energy to keep up with your kids!

Use your imagination to keep the kids active! Just remember not to over-use video games and television during the autumn and winter months. Keeping kids moving is important for motor and cognitive development as well as to reduce chances of obesity!

For ideas of indoor activities for children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) or autism (ASD) known as a sensory diet, check out the following website Also, ask your child's occupational, physical, and/or speech therapist for a handout on activities to do at home to keep your child busy. This will also greatly impact behavior because they won't be bored!